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space (spās) n. 1. space beyond the atmosphere of the earth.

prag·ma·tism (prgm-tzm) n. A way of approaching situations or solving problems that emphasizes practical applications and consequences.

Monday, May 09, 2005

If NASA Won't do it.... (PR Again)

Believe it not, I haven't heard back from Mr. Griffin. So I was thinking, maybe it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness. I am seriously thinking about starting up a Non-profit group to promote space in the mainstream media. If people have heat-burn with NASA spending our money, let me do it.

All of the things that are available now are "pull" advertising. New articles and editorials on,, or wait on the extremely interested party to come out and find them. I am looking to turn on the sort-of interested individual.

Heck I have always been interested, but other than the main couple, I didn't know this loosely nit group of space advocate news and commentary existed until SpaceShipOne happened.

At any rate I am looking for ideas, help, whatever. If you know of a group that already does this, let me know (I must be missing their time slots). If nothing else we could come up with a comprehensive list of ideas to propose to NASA (or the Mars Society, Planetary society, NSS).


Michael Mealling said...

First you have to figure out what you want the target of the ad to actually buy. If its to convince them to advocate for more tax money for NASA then that's something completely different than "buy space products!". One is political advocacy which requires a completely different action step on the consumers part. The second is a branding exercise (i.e. "Got milk?" or "Beef. Its what's for dinner." (why am I on cows all of a sudden?!))

Anyway, we in the industry have often lamented the lack of a common Space branding effort. The XPrize is doing a good job at branding a certain segment but its not general enough. And with all of the competing interests out there that view space related money as a zero sum game (i.e. space scientists vs earth scientists vs manned space) it will be impossible to get them all to agree (so why try?).

Untargeted, unfocused PR is worse than none at all. So define your mission, goals and milestones and build out from there.

Michael Mealling said...

On a semi-unrelated note, my presentation on value networks that I'm presenting at ISDC talks about an attempt to build space related industries, branding being just one part of the larger whole. I'd love comments: